LIMA, Peru – After a tough battle in the rankings, Andrew Capobianco and Michael Hixon earned the bronze medal in the men’s synchronized 3-meter springboard at the Pan American Games Lima 2019.
The atmosphere of the nearly-full Videna National Sports Village was vibrant and full of energy as music pumped in the background and divers could hear the sounds of chants, cheers and whistles.
Third in the lineup, the American duo launched off of the platform to set the tone for the field, ranking first after the first round. After sliding down to third in the second round and back to first at the conclusion of the third round, the U.S. steadily remained in second behind Mexico following the fourth and fifth rounds.
Capobianco and Hixon lined up for the final round. Going for it, the duo performed a 109C dive – a forward 4.5 somersault tuck – rated at a 3.8-difficulty level, earning a final 67.26 points.
With their final dive of the competition complete, Capobianco and Hixon emerged from the water, clasped hands and patted each other on the back.
The silver medal belonged to the Americans, until the Canadians threw out a monster dive, scoring 80.58 to overtake the second-place positioning by 10.08 points.
While the duo’s goal was to leave with gold around their necks, they improved on their score from late-July’s world championships by 16.05 points to earn a total of 404.13 points in Lima.
This marks the second medal of the Games for Capobianco after he secured bronze in men’s 1m springboard on Thursday.
“I’ve never gotten two medals in a meet before,” Capobianco said. “That’s really exciting for me. I’m just happy to do it for Team USA.”
Hixon is two months out from undergoing hernia surgery. The 25-year-old was part of the silver-medal winning duo in the men’s synchronized 3m at the Olympic Games Rio 2016.
After Saturday’s performance, the synchro pair plans on using this as fuel to rebuild and prepare for next year.
In the women’s 10m platform, Delaney Schnell and Rio 2016 Olympian Amy Cozad Magana finished fourth and fifth, respectively.
Heading into the final round, Schnell was seated at fifth.
With her final dive of the competition, Schnell launched off the platform and executed her best dive of the evening, scoring 78.40, exiting the pool with the roars of the energized crowd in the background. Schnell was then set to win bronze until she was upset by Mexico’s Alejandra Orozco Loza, who was the last to dive in the field.
Schnell was edged out of medal contention by 1.25 points.
On Sunday, Schnell and Cozad Magana will compete in women’s synchronized 10m platform, and Hixon and Capobianco will both compete in men’s 3m springboard.
For Capobianco, the two medals have given him a confidence boost going into Sunday’s event. Although he qualified third for the 3m springboard, Capobianco has no doubt that he can move up and improve his final standing and get another medal for Team USA as it’s his best event.
Capobianco’s mantra for Sunday: “Don’t hold back and go all in.”
“If I make mistakes, they’re going to be aggressive mistakes,” Capobianco said. “If not, then I’m going to hit bank.”